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Why are swimming pools treated differently than other sports fields?

Current guidelines say swimming pools are not eligible, unless they have historical value or you can prove i.e. an Olympic athlete trained there. I wonder what is the reasoning behind it?

Other sports fields for baseball, soccer, cricket, backetball... are all 5* candidates, without requiring the extra significance.

Similarly, recreational swimming pools are not eligible, but playgrounds and theme parks are.

Doesn't seem to make sense, can someone shed a light on it please?



  • gazzas89-PGOgazzas89-PGO Posts: 535 ✭✭✭✭

    My guess is safety? Someone not paying attention could fall in?

  • YouLostAStar-INGYouLostAStar-ING Posts: 186 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Most probably because some idiot will fall into the water while hacking/catching etc 😂

  • Selner-INGSelner-ING Posts: 3 ✭✭

    I think the issue is that in the "What is it?" categorization, "swimming pool" is under "sports".

    And obviously, if you go look at community and neighborhood pools (in the US at least) they are often not sport-related.

    So the AMA question that changed the guideline was approaching this from the "sports" point of view, which I think is the wrong way to look at this.

    Pools are not just for sports, they are neighborhood hang outs, community gathering places, birthday party locations... etc.

    I don't think it has anything to do with people falling in the water, or even with people in bathing suits.

  • Hydracyan-INGHydracyan-ING Posts: 122 ✭✭✭

    Not sanitary!😷

  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 1,874 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Niantic never explained why swimming pools are ineligible, even if the pools are used as community gathering spots (a common eligibility criteria). Some speculate that it is due to safety issues, but any pool that would qualify already has a security/safety fence around it so someone wondering into the pool and accidentally drowning while playing a game is extremely unlikely (and take some conscious effort to accomplish). And if some idiot put the marker in the middle of the pool, moving it to the bathhouse would be a legitimate and justified location edit. I guess you can argue that it avoids the chance of voyeurism because someone can use "playing a game" as cover to film young teens and children in their swimsuits. However, most qualifying pools are in public parks where there are other eligible candidates, so that line of reasoning isn't very convincing either.

  • Selner-INGSelner-ING Posts: 3 ✭✭

    Here's the AMA question that was about pools:

    [quote]Q: jessicorgi - I would really like some information on pools located inside neighborhood communities or apartment complexes. They're open to the whole neighborhood and promote exercise, community and meeting your neighbors. They're gated to keep kids from falling in, usually, but while playgrounds right next to them inside the same neighborhoods pass, the pools fail. They're open to the same people. To me, the pools should be a pretty clear fit to the rules but none seem to pass.

    A: NIA OPS replied that, they agree with the community’s decision. Swimming pools do not fall under the same category of exercise equipment in a park and would not be considered eligible unless it had historical or cultural significance.[/quote]

    As you can see, the answer was specifically about "exercise equipment in a park", which is an odd thing to compare a pool to.

    I would say a neighborhood pool during the Summertime could be considered "culturally significant".

  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 1,874 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Selner-ING You missed the recent clarification from January 2020:

    Swimming Pools

    • Acceptable: Pools that have local historical or cultural significance beyond being a pool. For example, a pool that a local Olympic medal winner trained at would be eligible. 
    • Not acceptable: Pools at private residences, hotels, and community centers that are primarily for recreational purposes, even if they’re gathering places.

    So neighborhood pools are ineligible.

  • Selner-INGSelner-ING Posts: 3 ✭✭

    I had actually not seen that updated guideline. I knew about the AMA thing, so I googled it specifically.

    But now I see the updated guidelines page.

    And yes, I do disagree with it. But I do not make the rules, so I will do my best to follow them in the future.

  • Gabriel0322-PGOGabriel0322-PGO Posts: 817 ✭✭✭✭

    I believe this one is safety. A swimming pool in a snow city could be a hazard to some not paying attention. Especially with having to have to wayspot on the POI itself. Center of a pool can't be accessed easily in a snow storm.

  • PoMaQue-PGOPoMaQue-PGO Posts: 191 ✭✭✭✭

    All comments about safety make sense, if you were to nominate the actual body of water.

    But where would be the safety issue when you nominate the entire building? (In Belgium, due to the weather, the majority of community swimming pools are indoors). That would be just like nominating any other building.

  • Gabriel0322-PGOGabriel0322-PGO Posts: 817 ✭✭✭✭

    @PoMaQue-PGO I would consider an indoor swimming pool under the indoor play areas guidance in addition to the swimming pool guidance.

  • adetia9-PGOadetia9-PGO Posts: 13 ✭✭

    I follow the guidance but I don't always agree with it on a personal level. I think there is a compelling argument that community pools are a far more utilized gathering space then the local basketball court, but, it is what it is. To me, a swimming pool that is public (i.e. not at a hotel or single, private residence or not within the constraints of any of our other exclusionary types like school, etc.) should be allowed as a candidate as they are typically large enough, a sufficient gathering space, and also promote exercise, physical activity and in some cases, being outdoors. I live in a snowy place and we've had at least one swimming pool type area approved. To me, it has no more inherent danger as a portal then any of the splash pads and recreation areas of a similar nature, but then we also approached that submission with a bit of common sense and placed it at the entrance of the "clubhouse" portion of the swimming pool and not smack dab in the middle of the pool itself.

    That said I firmly believe with some creativity you could sell most "community" pools as having historical or cultural significance with some effort. For example, the pool above:

    This early Lethbridge park, the first important recreational park according to Alex Johnson, is located on the east side of Lethbridge between Parkside Drive to the south and north and Mayor Magrath Drive to the west and Exhibition Drive to the east.It was named for Mayor William Henderson who was a leader in the town’s development. Henderson was a town councillor in 1891-1892 and 1896-98 and mayor 1908-09.

    I think its reasonably to request a reconsideration of this guidance, particularly since it seems like the guidance regarding swimming pools changes slightly in numerous AMA sessions. That said, I'll still follow guidance as it stands until it changes.

  • cryog-INGcryog-ING Posts: 1 ✭✭

    I'd go the other way, all these tennis, basketball, baseball, volleyball fields should NOT be POI. I generally approve them, but minimum acceptance stars.

  • PoMaQue-PGOPoMaQue-PGO Posts: 191 ✭✭✭✭

    Promoting healthy activity and gathering places for people do not meet criteria according to you?

    Each country has its own national sport which has cultural value and likely some historical value as well.

  • gazzas89-PGOgazzas89-PGO Posts: 535 ✭✭✭✭

    @cryog-ING why the hell do you not like them? They are part of niantics main push, healthy activities and teamwork. I dont like play parks, those dont fit any criteria, and people saying g they are a good meeting place, I'd be very worried another people who would consider a children's play park a good gathering spot

  • PoMaQue-PGOPoMaQue-PGO Posts: 191 ✭✭✭✭

    When you have kids of you own and meet up with other parents there, for the kids to play together, while you chit-chat, you understand the gathering place criteria 😉

  • gazzas89-PGOgazzas89-PGO Posts: 535 ✭✭✭✭

    @PoMaQue-PGO even so, a lot of the play parks I see/submit/review I would argue are to small and local to be a decent enough gathering point hell I've seen one get accepted that was literally a slide and a solitary swing lol.

  • PoMaQue-PGOPoMaQue-PGO Posts: 191 ✭✭✭✭

    Yeah but if you start making distinctions like this, based on the size and equipment installed, you could start arguments saying local sports fields have small goals, so they aren't valid and only accept the major stadiums.

  • gazzas89-PGOgazzas89-PGO Posts: 535 ✭✭✭✭

    @PoMaQue-PGO that's a different argument, I'm saying that small play parks would be horrible gathering points as at best you would get maybe a handful of people at thema d if they were to become a pokemon gym then lots of questions would be asked that involved the police (taking it to an extreme but it is a possibility) . Small athletic fields are still used for exercise and team building etc. Which is why they are acceptable not because they are gathering points at questionable areas

  • NorthSeaPoet-INGNorthSeaPoet-ING Posts: 716 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Niantic have stated before that tennis, basketball, baseball, etc are perfectly valid, so really, you're just going against the criteria NIA have laid out.

    Niantic stated that playgrounds meet criteria, which I can see. They're a meeting place for kids and parents, promote socialisation and exercise.

  • PikaMagicaela-INGPikaMagicaela-ING Posts: 18 ✭✭

    I can see why most swimming pools should be ineligible, especially now. It's bad enough scanning playgrounds for Scout medals. Imagine having to do swimming pools in the current era.....

  • sogNinjaman-INGsogNinjaman-ING Posts: 824 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Short answer - Because Niantic say so in the Guidelines. They make the rules, we just follow them.....

  • Hydracyan-INGHydracyan-ING Posts: 122 ✭✭✭

    Because you can't die if you're foolish wandering in a empty plain field.

  • 0X00FF00-ING0X00FF00-ING Posts: 350 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A “community pool” such as this isn’t just the pool itself. It’s also the building, the sign, and everything else on the premises.

    What we are explicitly disallowed from submitting are the “pools” themselves.

    Or at least, that WOULD be my presumption. Unfortunately Niantic’s language about it, as written, excludes these too. As we have all noted before, Niantic-the-company is infamously terrible at communication, always preferring simplified explanations over anything comprehensive. Ever.

  • PoMaQue-PGOPoMaQue-PGO Posts: 191 ✭✭✭✭

    That's my point as well, a lot of people think of pools like only being the body of water, which of course is unsafe and not a place to walk around with your phone.

    But over here, nearly all pools are located inside of buildings, same as other sports centers. This means you could easily nominate the entrance of the building and ensure safe pedestrian access, avoid strange looks when you're standing around a pool "filming" with your phone etc.

    I think this criteria needs a bit more of explanation, because no one really knows their reasoning (everyone is just guessing), the rule about "only if an olympic athlete has trained there" does not apply to other sport fields etc. As it stands, swimming pool buildings are still easily approved Wayspots, because people do not understand the logic or agree with it.

  • FrealafGB-PGOFrealafGB-PGO Posts: 217 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2020

    I never understood why a pool shouldn't be eligible. Maybe this is some rule driven by Niantic's area of America having so many pools that they're not interesting? Certainly in our town, pools are rare, so rare that it's actually very difficult to go swimming because there is so much competition for space in the pools. I see them as a really great point of interest, and I can't really get behind the idea that they're not eligible when every playground or tennis court is eligible without question.

    I guess it doesn't matter anyway for me - our swimming pools are all in the games already, but if the town follows through on plans and eventually builds the new one they're talking about, it seems incredibly odd that I can't add that to the games in future! I bet if I submitted it, it would go straight through too, because I think that the idea of a pool being ineligible is not widely known amongst reviewers that don't read this forum. It's just a really odd rule that doesn't fit with the standard "sports stuff is generally eligible" rules.

  • sogNinjaman-INGsogNinjaman-ING Posts: 824 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2020

    These days, some people are a bit "hyper-vigilant" around places like swimming pools. Most pools have rules these days about no photos and no videos, even if you are making "training films" of your own child going through her diving routine practice. Add in "a bunch of non-swimming wierdos hanging around the pool with their phones", and the potential problems people can run into if they are accused by someone of "photographing kids in their swimsuits and posting them on the internet", and you can see why Niantic want to keep the lid on this particular can of worms, they don't want to be potentially linked to any bad press. They probably spoke to their in-house lawyer about this who said "simple answer, just put swimming pools off limits".

  • Sugarstarzkill-PGOSugarstarzkill-PGO Posts: 437 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think that could be a fair guess but there ISN'T a flat out ban on pools, they just need some bigger significance. They also allow splash pads and things in water parks are allowed so... I don't know. It's an odd ruling. It could be for safety reasons too but again, it doesn't make sense that SOME pools are allowed.

  • PoMaQue-PGOPoMaQue-PGO Posts: 191 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2020

    Yeah but here I go back to our pools, which are nearly always indoors. Nominating the building doesn't pose those risks + they still allow a pool if an Olympic athlete trained there.

    Overall, I think Swimming Pool clarifications might be a good one for the next AMA (if we can get the question asked in the first 2-3 pages ...)

    Post edited by PoMaQue-PGO on
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